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Stacey Ake

Stacey E. Ake, PhD, PhD

Director, Health and Medical Humanities Certificate Program
Teaching Professor of Philosophy
Department of English and Philosophy
Office: 5016 MacAlister Hall


  • PhD, Philosophy, 1999
  • PhD, Biology, 1994
  • MA, Philosophy, 1994
  • BA, History, 1985

Research Interests:

Ethics, Semiotics, Existentialism


My areas of research in philosophy are semiotics (Peirce, Percy), existentialism (Kierkegaard), existential ethics (Bonhoeffer), and theology (Chesterton, Derrida, MacDonald, Zizek). My interests in biology include population genetics, evolutionary theory, and the co-evolution of bacterial pathogenicity and human immune response. My interstitial interests include biosemiotics (Deacon, Emmeche, Hoffmeyer, Seboek, von Uexkull), the creation of a lived or existential philosophy of mind as found at the intersection of neuroscience and psychology (Damasio, Edelman, Ramachandran, Sacks), and the elucidation of a realetik vis-a-vis the biological and metabiological natures of human reality.

Favorite Authors and/or Books: On Writing by Stephen King; Les Misérables by Victor Hugo; The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins; That Hideous Strength by CS Lewis; The Faerie Queen by Edmund Spenser, and Unspoken Sermons by George MacDonald as well as any poetry by John Donne

Favorite Musical Artists: Bruce Cockburn, Billy Joel, Ruben Blades, Bruce Springsteen, JS Bach, & Poul Krebs

Personal Interests and Hobbies: I am fortunate to be interested in practically everything (except maybe hedge funds).

A Favorite Quote: I have found from past experiences that the tighter your plan the more likely you are to run into obstacles. –MacGyver

Favorite TV Show: M*A*S*H (after Trapper leaves)

One thing that makes me smile is: the delight my dogs seem to have when they’re allowed to run off leash.

A Pet Peeve is: when students ask whether they “missed anything important” in the last class!!!

One hidden talent is: obviously one I intend to keep hidden!

One reason I like my job is: because I get to work with young people.

Selected Publications:

  • Ake, Stacey E. 2020 ““If You Are All Christians, then I Am Not”: How Kierkegaard Helped Me Survive a Christian College”” in Taking Kierkegaard Personally: First Person Responses Eds. James Lorentzen and Gordon Marino, Mercer University Press, Macon, GA
  • Ake, Stacey E. 2018 “That Mystery Category “Fourthness” and Its Relationship to the Work of C. S. Peirce” in Walker Percy, Philosopher Ed. Leslie Marsh, Palgrave MacMillan, New York, NY.
  • Ake, Stacey E. 2018 “La costruzione semiotica del sé: continuità attraverso la discontinuità” in Identità, Libertà e Responsibilità Eds. Fernando Di Mieri and Daniele D’Agostino,, Edizioni Ripostes di Anna Carelli, Giffoni Valle Piana, Italy
  • Ake, Stacey E. 2016. “Scientists in the Cosmos: An Existential Approach to the Debate between Science and Religion” in Zygon: The Journal of Religion and Science — a special issue on Walker Percy
  • Ake, Stacey E. “I” is a Sign: The Emergence of Human Semiotic Individuality. 350 pages. Under contract to University Press of America.